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Combat Fatigue: Insomnia

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Combat Fatigue: Insomnia

Published 1945

Dick York plays a Navy recruit who must learn to tackle his insomnia.

Run time 19:11
Producer Wilding Picture Productions
Sponsor U.S. Navy
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


No synopsis in Educational Film Guide.
Ken Smith sez: A U.S. Navy training film starring Dick York. Dick's buddy can't get to sleep, so the omniscient narrator sets him straight. The scene with Dick on a merry-go-round in his dreams is unusual.
Navy men enter recreation hall and watch Donald Duck cartoon. [Cartoon protected]
VS good reaction shots of servicemen movie audience (laughing. One man remains serious while others laugh. Reaction shots. Laughter)
Navy recruit lights his buddy's cigarette
Naval barracks. rows of beds. Sailors. One man helps the other one off with his shirt.
Young men shower and shave. Dick York in shower.
CU wristwatch on wrist. 1:20. CU watch. 10:44, second hand moving. Inside of watch is shown with gears.
Sleeping sailors.
Young men asleep in bed, tossing and turning
Dreams appear above Dick York's head
Mechanic lying under car fixes transmission
Sailors on cafeteria line in mess hall.

Dick York United States Navy insomnia fatigue sleep dream Danger Lurks Safety


Reviewer: aircap - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 8, 2009
Subject: Dick York is only 16 or 17 in this film...
...which is funny, considering that in it, he is cast as an adult soldier -- and in his later films he is cast as a teen. (Birthday: Sept. 4, 1928.) Awesome.
Reviewer: dorrhart - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2006
Subject: insomnia, The true story
I enjoyed all the reviews. A wide variety of perspectives and views. But I know the real story about this movie. I have the original 35 mil film still in the can from Wilding Studios. My father, who is alive and well is "the other actor" in this film, which I believe was Dick Yorks first film. My Dad remembers it well and there are some rather surprising stories about the direction, filming, and interactions on the set during production. If anyone is curious about any trivia or details, let me know at
Reviewer: Steve the AV guy - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2005
Subject: Sleeper Hit of '45
What's with Dick York and his seemingly exclusive contract to do only homoerotic films?
This is a strange film on many levels, and it never really hits a discernable stride in it's pacing but it's well worth watching. Since discovering this site, I have really gotten into Dick's early work, and am no longer able to see "Bewiched" re-runs in the same light as before.
Reviewer: vhold - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 27, 2004
Subject: Before overprescription of pyscho active drugs ..
.. there was the concept of taking control of your mind, mentally. This movie is fundamentally about introspection and will power as a means to solve what today would probably be addressed with drugs almost immediately. Although it is interesting after all the advice, the narrator reassures you that if you still can't sleep, "The doctor will help you."

Having dealt with this kind of occasional insomnia, I found this movie to be extremely insightful and practical. Those kinds of things really did work for me, and I've never seen any kind of instructional video to that effect before, I figured most of it out on my own. This video would have been useful to me 10 or so years ago.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 11, 2004
Subject: Social Guidance Goes to War!
This WWII vintage navy training film looks like it could have been made by Coronet, and not just because of the presence of Dick York. ÂCombat fatigue was the term they used to use for posttraumatic stress disorder brought on by combat. Insomnia is a common symptom of PTSD, but here itÂs treated like one of the teen Âproblems found in Coronet social guidance films. Dick York is concerned about his buddy Buzz, who has a serious insomnia problem. Both sailors wear squeaky-clean uniforms and are stationed in a unit that looks like the worst combat it ever had to deal with was alcoholic fisticuffs. Actually, maybe not even thatÂÂthese sailors main form of recreation seems to be watching Donald Duck cartoons. After having a trite conversation with Buzz about his lack of sleep problem, Dick finds he canÂt get to sleep. Fortunately, help comes in the form of a disembodied voice who makes DickÂs and BuzzÂs thoughts audible to the rest of us. Somehow, this helps Dick to stop worrying about what he canÂt change and he falls quickly to sleep. Somehow these audible thoughts manage not to generate a peep of complaint from the other guys in the unit who are trying to get to sleep as well. Even the disembodied voice admits that BuzzÂs problem is not so easily solved. So the voice sends Buzz a few bizarre visual hallucinations, and when that doesnÂt seem to help for some odd reason, the voice does a guided relaxation exercise with Buzz. Buzz, knowing that he is outclassed here, finally feigns sleep to get the voice to go away. As it sounds, this is a kooky, campy film, complete with bouncy title music. It probably predates Coronet, but it could be shown in a Coronet film festival and be indistinguishable. Seeing the Coronet approach used in a military context makes it much more campy and bizarre than in the typical educational film, which, after all, was made for kids. And seeing Dick York play an adult sailor in a 1945 film makes you start to wonder just how old he was when he played all those teen roles for Coronet during the 50s (after seeing him in the shower scene, though, youÂre not surprised that he was cast as a teen). This bizarre film is a must-see.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Reviewer: Shylowe - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 29, 2003
Subject: Dick York and Who?
One character is almost comedic, the other dark and brooding.
The film is really rather mysterious in that it seems it is about more than just the subject of insomnia,
perhaps having to do with deeper emotions involving war.
A fasinating mix of tones, very well directed,
and a great job by both actors.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 5, 2003
Subject: Dick York: Sex Object!
In this highly homoerotic film, a navy soldier is having problems sleeping. SOMETHING is bothering him.. is it work problems? Is it stress? Methinks the soldier is lusting over Dick York, who the soldier just can't stop LOOKING at,
The film itself is okay, a way too talky picture about dealing with insomnia, heading it off with a great Donald Duck cartoon. but the real fun begins after it, with the soldier starts whining about not getting any sleep, while looking meaningfully at Mr. York. Meanwhile, they go SHOWER, and the the image of Mr. York showering just hammers the hidden subtext of this movie home, baby! After that, they go to bed, the private is STILL looking at Dick York, while the narrator blathers on about Insomnia.
A total must see on this site!
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